DotA – A Beginner’s Guide – Part 1

For those of you who may have not known, DotA (as we now call it) is just a short for Defense of the Ancients. It’s a custom multiplayer map for Blizzard’s Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne, which is arguably more popular than Valve’s Counter strike 1.6. As opposed to Counter Strike, DotA is a real-time strategy game which requires excellently co-ordinated teamwork, being the only gateway to victory.

This guide is intended to serve as a brief guide to educate the newbie DotA enthusiasts and hence, the simplicity has been stressed throughout the article. 

dota all stars
Dota All Stars

Teamwork is the most important constituent of streaming a good DotA game. Never dream of going about the world, thinking you can pwn opponents all on your own; it will simply get you and your team killed/ defeated. I’m not going to bore you with talks that are already covered on thousands of websites. DotA being a widely appreciated game, has a lot of “how to’s” covered at it’s dedicated websites. However, a good beginner’s guide is hard to find, and we aim to acquaint you with the world of DotA.

Map Layout

Map Layout
  • The Warriors

Now let’s begin with what really happens in the game. There are 2 warring sides – the Sentinel and the Scourge, each with its respective set of heroes who fight for their sides. Each team has a monument (or an Ancient) which must be protected. The team which destroys the opponents’ Ancient wins. However, these Ancients are placed deep within the enemy territory and are protected by powerful towers, you will need to fight and push your way through!

  • The Heroes

Coming to the heroes, all heroes are classified into 3 categories, namely – agility, intelligence and strength, wherein the category tells the primary attribute of the hero. The agility heroes are a good starting point for beginners and after some practice, a player may wish to graduate to intelligence or strength category heroes.

After choosing a hero, one must look to improve attributes by purchasing items from the shops around. Some items may need to be constructed by a combination of other items and (at times) recipes.


For example, to construct a Butterfly (a popular item in the game), one must buy a quarterstaff for 900 gold, a talisman of evasion for 1800 gold, and an eaglehorn for 3300 gold. The players who hits and enemy last is the one who gets the gold. Gold may be denied to enemies by killing own-team creeps when their health is less than 25%. It is good to practice to get last hits and collect gold fast.

Initially, it is advisable to start off by playing some games alone or with AI computer players in 2v2 or 3v3. One discovers things only when he starts exploring the map. There are 3 lanes – top, bottom and mid by which the team creeps tread. All around the map, in the jungles one can find neutral creeps and have some good kills for gold and experience for level-ups.

Gaming Jargons

Here are a few gaming jargons that players often use in the game:

  • Gank – when multiple heroes of one team come together to one place to surround and kill less number of enemy heroes.
  • Farm – when heroes go with team creeps in lanes and kill enemy creeps for gold and experience.
  • Hunt – when heroes go to farm on neutral creeps.

There thy go, happy hunting, farming, ganking and pwning! J